REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Whitedot Skis "Ragnorok" 190cm (2017-2018)
Whitedot Skis Ltd
91-93 Green Lane,
Leeds, LS16 7EY, United Kingdom
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
Big mountain freeride
Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
9+ For storm or powder conditions in bigger terrain
7 Hardpack groomers (not bad for 1mm camber underfoot ..essentially flat)
The Whitedot Ragnorok began life as a big mountain charger for Fred Syversen, a high-octane freeride hero often known for his crazy 107 meter (351 feet) film episode cliff drop in 2010. The first incarnation of the Ragnorok is now a collector's item and was widely regarded as a beastly-stiff, unbearably strong and unflappable high-speed freight train of a ski not very usable by mere mortals. White dot tamed the ski's flex and geometry to create a "fun charger" (their term) that's been selling out of for the last several seasons. Whitedot makes a "traditional" layup version and a "Carbonlite" version of the Ragnorok. We tested the traditional layup to get the feel of this design with more mass underfoot and a quieter, damper ride. The Carbontlite version is about 25% lighter and reported to be much more reactive and quick feeling.
"A The R.118-Ragnarok takes the concept and vision of its originator Fred Syversen and creates its own cutting edge category, the Fun-Charger.
With extensive re-working of the rocker profile and matching sidecut radius, the R.118-Ragnarok makes the big mountain experience even more accessible."
- Website, March 2018
Technical Ski Data:
Bindings and Boots Used:
Tyrolia PRD 12 adjustable bindings
Salomon S-Max 120 boots.
Excellent fit and finish. Stunningly vibrant, glossy blue topsheet color. Stout flex from tip to tail with pronounced tip and tail rocker sections. Essentially flat (no camber). Not heavy, but not light feeling either. Damp flex and rebound feel.
Eastern corduroy, packed powder and hardpack groomers, knee-deep powder, cut-up chowder & boilerplate.
The Whitedot Ragnorok is a strong, quiet, super-stable platform for superior crud-cutting and powder surfing with no real speed limit, but doesn't beat you up in the process. Bumpy terrain can be a little abusive due to the stiff chassis, and tight trees can feel a bit claustrophobic if the terrain is roughed-out, but the ample rocker profile up front and a strong tail means you can feel pretty agile with this wide-body ski on your feet, but still have a solid midsection and tail to stomp on for directional changes and railing across uneven surfaces. Vibrations are essentially neutralized along the entire ski.
Testers fell in love with the Ragnorok as the storm-ski of choice because it would surf fresh powder with an excellent, smear-as-you-like attitude, yet rail through crud, junk, flake blocks and drifts with zero deflection, tons of stability and a stealthy, strong feel underfoot. The Ragnorok inspires confidence in nearly any terrain without requiring an Olympian-level athlete at the helm. Hardpack performance was essentially unimpressive until you realized this is a nearly flat (OK.. 1 millimeter of camber) ski with significant tip rocker and 118mm waist width...then its moderate hardpack grip and pop became totally acceptable for the level of 3D snow performance.
If you like long-ish feeling skis with super stable, high-confidence personality traits in a really great blue color topsheet with tons of dots...the Ragnorok is your ride. Whitedot did the right thing by making the Ragnorok "accessible" to mere mortal skiers by giving it a forgiving personality for its size and relatively stiff flex profile, but retaining the hard-charging security hard-cores demand. We loved the Ragnorok for what it does best: charging through three-dimensional snow of any type at rowdy speeds with total confidence while delivering a smoothy-like ride in fresh fluffy conditions. Did we mention it also has awesome looking dots all over it?
Hardpack and Boilerplate:
The Ragnorok is not very impressive on the hardpack or groomed surfaces, feeling a bit slippery and drifty unless you punch down in the midsection to get it to bite, which it will, but you never get the feeling the entire ski is engaged across hard surfaces. It's never spooky, just a bit drifty on hardpack. As soon as you get sidewall-depth snow underfoot, this feeling disappears. Upon reflection, the essentially flat, wide-body, rockered charger works better than you'd expect on hard surfaces...just don't expect to practice GS turns on them on the way down to the lift.
Mixed & Powder Conditions:
The Whitedot Ragnorok excels at surfing powder with excellent surface area dynamics, as well as tracking throught cruddy, storm-ravaged surfaces with a quiet, stable confidence. You can cruise slowly, but bringing the Ragnoroks up to planing speed and above is where they really do their thing, delivering a pretty unshakable ride in a damp, controlled manner every time. The strongly tapered tips and chassis layup defy deflection in junk-ladened 3D snow, yet planing and smearing behaviors are always on-tap with directional changes happening on-demand without fighting the pilot. The stronger you drive them, the better they deliver. Heavier skiers who normally overwhelm their skis in tough surface conditions will like the Ragnoroks. Athletic skiers will like the Ragnoroks for their power handling and speed-calming abilities. Recreational skiers looking for a big-mountain ski can ride the Rags just fine, as long as they are willing to up their game and pay attention to the fact they are riding a relatively large platform in a longish length. I immediately thought of several advancing skiers who would definitely respond to the Ragnoroks really well as a ski to take them to the next level in storm conditions and powder. Every tester loved these skis as super stable, speed-unlimited surfers with confidence-inspiring tracking ability through mixed snow surfaces.
Turn Initiation, Apex & Finish:
The Ragnoroks initiate turns in 3D snow with very little effort, prefering to smear into a turn rather than lay up on-edge and carve (no camber, remember). You can ease into the turn or throw them into it...faster speeds mean easier throwing. Once in the turn, you can bank them into the surface or ride them flat sideways...smearable scrubbing is always available, which is nice. No hangups front or rear unless you're in tight terrain where the 190cm length shows itself due to the stiff flex of the Ragnoroks.
If you want, roll them up on edge and track through the snow under pressure with really impressive confidence. The apex of your turn naturally concentrates underfoot with Whitedot's design, and the stout platform under your boot is rock solid. Drive or smear your way to the finish on the tails for a somewhat underwhelming pop (these are not skis that will throw you into the backseat), but a really solid, and strong ending. These skis can deliver a really nicely rounded trajectory across the surface at various speeds from initiation through the finish sequence. When you ski the Ranoroks, it's best to bring your field of vision farther ahead and wider to use more of the hill as potential targets for your trajectories. "Neutral" is the best word to describe the Ragnorok's turn behavior...which is exactly what you want in a big mountain ski. Add the words "solid" and "predictable" to the mix, and you get the idea.
Analogies: ("This ski is like...")
A smooth, undeniably strong North wind blowing through any kind of terrain. Rock solid, steady and refreshingly stimulating. The harder it blows, the more impressive it feels. It feels like an adventure is coming. Just don't expect cozy weather conditions on the hardpack.
Notable Tester Comments:
"Wow", "Awesome fun" - everyone
"I was hucking 30 footers like they were nothing...no speed limit" - Brian Finch
Things I Would Change About This Ski:
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
These are relatively stiff, dead-quiet big mountain skis that nearly anyone can enjoy. You don't have to be a hard-charging athlete to love the way they run. They're big, and feel big. Totally solid platform to travel through any kind of 3D snow. No speed limits.
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
Be sure you want a 190cm ski, because they feel true-to-length, even with the significant tip and tail rocker. They can be a bit stiff in bumpy terrain and a bit slippery on hardpack, but might change your life in great powder or stormy conditions. If you're going to big-mountains, these are your tools.
Blister Gear Review:
Pics: (click for larger versions)
Excellent White Dots...
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